Sushma Swaraj: World leaders remember ex-EAM as a friend, sister, and people-centric leader

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Published: August 7, 2019 5:15:52 PM

Calling her a friend, the US Embassy in New Delhi, has said that former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was a key partner in strengthening the US-India bilateral relationship, especially during the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in September 2018.

sushma swaraj, sushma swaraj death, sushma swaraj news, sushma swaraj death reason, sushma swaraj death photos, sushma swaraj death video, sushma swaraj husband, sushma swaraj daughter, sushma swaraj death picture, latest news on sushma swaraj deathSharing his memories former MEA Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa said that with the passing away of Swaraj, India has lost one of its most intelligent, humane and caring politicians. (AP photo)

Since morning world leaders, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, have been condoling the death of India’s former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

Though she was people’s foreign minister who took Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to the doorstep of the common and deprived and helpless Indians stranded abroad, world leaders across the globe credit her for major diplomatic gains. Many gulf foreign ministers referred to her as their sister. Even the MEA family is mourning her sudden demise.

Also read| Sushma Swaraj death: Hundreds bid final goodbye to people’s minister, daughter Bansuri performs last rites | Updates

Calling her a friend, the US Embassy in New Delhi, has said that former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was a key partner in strengthening the US-India bilateral relationship, especially during the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in September 2018.

In an official statement, the Embassy mourned her passing away and said that she was greatly respected and viewed as an outstanding representative of the Indian people, both at home and abroad.

In his message, Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev to India shared that she was a steadfast defender and promoter of international interests of India and its global power reputation. “She was a sincere and true friend of Russia, greatly contributing to the strengthening of our special and privileged Strategic Partnership,” the Russian envoy added.

The Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi while expressing his shock pointed out that all Indian missions across the globe have now become more people-centric as she always cared about people first. As a passport officer of India during her tenure as a minister, Pardeshi said that she wanted the passport Seva easily accessible to all across the country.

Said former ambassador Anil Trigunayat that the news of her sudden demise came as a shock as he had met her just last week.

“I had known her for over two decades in her various capacities including as the leader of the opposition and my own Minister. She was perhaps the most articulate, amenable yet firm Foreign Minister India had.”

“Once I told her that dealing with Middle East leadership would have a far more substantive outcome if at the leadership level we develop mutual trust and friendship. While I was in Jordan she made a point to visit even if for a short while as promised. She somehow knew all her Ambassadors by name and would remember and discuss the outcomes whenever she would see them. Her passion and penchant for cultural diplomacy and promoting India’s interests in her disarming style was unique,” Trigunayat added.

Sharing his memories former MEA Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa said that with the passing away of Swaraj, India has lost one of its most intelligent, humane and caring politicians. She was one politician who reached out to all across party lines, and across all divides.

“She had a razor-sharp and incisive mind and an ability to find solutions to issues and the gumption to carry out her tasks and responsibility with the utmost ability. She has left behind a host of admirers and many heartbroken individuals whose souls she touched. She backed merit and her own ability to the hilt. The BJP has lost a strong pillar whose loyalty to the party and the organization and whose void will be difficult to fill,” said Wadhwa.

According to him, she excelled in any job entrusted to her. In the Parliament and in the United Nations she spoke on many issues, often extempore, on a number of issues with great ability and conviction with all facts on her fingertips. She had a 360-degree vision of tackling an issue which is lacking in many individuals.

As an external affairs minister Swaraj was able to make a mark on many world leaders and on many counterparts who came in contact with her. To many who have worked and come in contact with her – the memories will be indelible.

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